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Subject: what's more important: # of turns or length of game? rss

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Steven Heinrich
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Setting aside the mechanics of the game in question, what is more important to you as a gamer?

The length of time that it takes to play a game, and that the game is consistently within those parameters?

Or the quantity of turns needed to result in a clear winner or to bring the game to a close, regardless or whether or not the game actually ends at a set time (say 1 hour or 1.5 hours) each time?

Thanks for your feedback.

STeven

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John Farrell
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Sorry, can't answer, too busy looking at your avatar.

I don't mind either way. What I don't like in a game is long turns where the phasing player sits staring at the board for forever. I don't think I *ever* take more than a minute for a turn (see Footnote 1), and even in games like Tikal and Vinci I'm probably done in 30 seconds most of the time. That's because I care more about my opponents enjoying the experience than I do about winning. I also don't much like games where there are lots of turns which are very short, because I have to say "your turn" about a thousand times a game. I do like games like San Juan or Bohnanza where players are involved in all the turns.

Footnote 1: OK, so there are games like Runebound where on your turn you reveal a card which then takes a while to resolve. But that wasn't me being slow. I bet I often make a turn in Runebound in less than a minute anyway.
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Kent Reuber
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Overall length of time is the most straightforward measure, because that tells you what time window you need to allocate? Can you play it over lunch or after work, or do you need a weekend.

The length of the turn is less important than the amount of downtime. In some games, turns can be very long, but they may involve phases where the opposing player can interrupt or react to the phasing player's movements.
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Michelle Zentis
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It's more about downtime than # of turns or length of game for me, too. If I've got plans to make during other people's turns, I don't mind it if they need time to ponder their options. If my course of action is always straightforward and I'm just sitting there bored while others gape at the board, even half an hour is too long.

Downtime depends as much on my fellow gamers as it does on the game itself. There are people with whom I won't play something as simple as Ticket to Ride because they seriously take like two minutes a turn. zombie Kill...me...
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Michael Von Ahnen
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Amount of time interacting is the most important for me in face to face games. The length of game can be irrelavent. It is not important for me to conclude a game in a single session, or even finish it, if the play is enjoyable. What this means, however that the turns either have to be short enough for a "you go" / "I go" game, or that both (all) players interact during the game turn.
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nate ben-porat
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heinrichsteven wrote:
Setting aside the mechanics of the game in question, what is more important to you as a gamer?

The length of time that it takes to play a game, and that the game is consistently within those parameters?

Or the quantity of turns needed to result in a clear winner or to bring the game to a close, regardless or whether or not the game actually ends at a set time (say 1 hour or 1.5 hours) each time?

Thanks for your feedback.

STeven



to me it's more important the length of the game because usually i don;t have more then 2 hours to play... although long turns like in CV3 the boardgame will make me go crazy.
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Stephen Schaefer
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Either of them can help or hinder the enjoyability of the game. What's more important than either is to maximize the playing experience. A game that passes turns quickly but doesn't engage the players is not any better than one where each player is idling for long periods of time between turns, generally speaking.

Now there are other factors that can confound this generalization. In Jenga, for example, there is only one task which takes only a few seconds (unless someone is hyper-analyzing the tower's structural integrity), but the player's are engaged by the tension created by the fact that the tower could fall at any given moment. If anything, people are actually NOT in a hurry for it to be their turn because they might be the one to lose.

Another counter-example is Civilization, which has been known to suck people in so deeply that they will play literally for an entire weekend just to complete one game. The length of the game, and even the length of the turn, is offset by its capacity to draw the players in and keep them engaged.

So there's no hard and fast rule to favor one or the other or even split your game evenly between them. But there's that "just right" balance somewhere in there, which is going to depend on the mechanics and the interaction between the players.

There will also be times when one of these parameters is actually a requirement you are building into your game (e.g., I want a game that 4 of us can sit down and play and be done in, say, half an hour or 45 minutes), in which case the other two variables, the mechanics and the frequency of turns, will have to be tweaked to favor the desired limit on play time.
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